The sport of ski mountaineering has been included in the program for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy’s Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo. It was approved by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.
The sport, which combines ascents and descents of mountains on or while carrying skis, will have five events at the Olympics. With a total number of 48 athletes (24 women and 24 men) at the Games, the events will be sprints, individuals and one mixed gender relay.
The IOC cited the sport’s popularity in hosts Italy and its rapid expansion in the U.S.A. and Canada, among other countries. The inclusion of ski mountaineering, which featured at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, brings the total number of winter sports to eight.
The Alpine Club of Canada and Ski Mountaineering Competition Canada (SMCC) make up the National Federation governing the sport in Canada through their membership and participation in the International Federation of Ski Mountaineering (ISMF). The ACC/SMCC coordinate the race calendar, record results, and keep athletes’ rankings, select national teams for international events, train and certify race officials, etc.